I'm not sure why I find religious cults so fascinating and creepy, but I believe it has mainly to do with the fact that as a young one I was obsessed with googling about the Heaven's Gate Cult (yes I was inspired to do so because I saw it on I Love the 90s). The images of the people with the purple sheets and the Nike's and just how absolutely crazy Marshall Applewhite was. The thing with movies like End of the Line is that it's probably not too far off from how things would really go down if say, a really serious cult came to order. That is where the true terror begins to collect, because these aren't zombies, or vampires---this shit is real!
End of the Line follows a train of people who come under attack by a group of religious cult members. One by one the people on the train are ceremoniously stabbed after the group receives a page from the "Reverend". The group relentlessly stalks those who get away, and claim to only be saving them. Outside the world has run amok and the Reverend takes over all transmissions citing that the end of the world is near and yadda yadda yadda. What ensues is a frightening realization of the horrors of extreme religion and what happens when other peoples beliefs collide with the rest of the world.
The first 20 minutes or so of this movie is filled to the brim with jump scares. In the true fashion of...myself, I got really angry at this- and probably would have turned it off if it continued throughout the rest of the film. I still have a hard time grappling with the concept of jump scares because I always feel like I'm being forced to find something is scary because of them. These jump scares in particular, got me every fucking time! But it's not necessarily a good thing. Typically yes, jump scares are better when they actually work--but it was starting to get a little ridiculous there for a while. If you can physically withstand about 7 mini heart attacks then don't give up hope just yet.
Once you get past those initial few scares there are great scenes of uber creepiness, lots of blood and gore and NO boobs. Also, trying to put the pieces together of the truth and validity of the cult is sort of thrilling in it's own right. The good news is- there IS an ambiguity. Hooray! There are also a select few stand outs moments that made me step back and check my "this is disturbing" radar. One scene in particular really got me, and that is when the two train workers are together and the cult enters. One of the men happens to be a legitimate part of the cult, yet is scared and confused and doesn't seem to be too invested in it's actual cause. They bring in his pregnant lover person and he's all excited- and she tells him that he has to kill her in order to save her. She feels the "evil" growing inside her and her life must be taken before the end comes. The man shakes his head in dismay and the cult surrounds him- he obviously cannot do it and so the other members take matters into their own hands. The man is killed, and then the pregnant woman is continually stabbed, the man, woman AND SPOILER-- the freaking unborn fetus are placed next to each other as they wait to completely bleed out. First off I didn't see anyone performing an emergency C-section on that baby, so to see it suddenly appear on top of them was, eye bulging. Secondly it was just a really creepy scene. Creepy, disturbing, gross, and just really showed you the gravity of the situation at hand.
In case you are resigned to the fact that you can't enjoy a horror movie unless major gore is involved, fear not--there is actually a surprising amount of it. One of the things I did love about it all was the weapons used were all "crime of passion" worthy. No guns! All kills and injuries were made so much brutal because of it- and each wound made was fantastic. There's also an extremely nauseating scene involving a pretty nasty bite- which I almost tossed my cookies over so look out for that!
There is a point however where the movie starts to drag a bit. After awhile, seeing crazy religious people stalk non religious people becomes tiresome and you yearn for something different to happen. Eventually that different something does happen, but it takes a little while and it can cause restlessness. I was also confused about why the train looked more like a bus, and where a particular giant sword came from? There are small things like random bad acting/writing and every now and again and turret's syndrome like music. These are typically minor offenses but things that did distract me at least a little. The last few minutes however are worth that wait.
Regardless, the movie is a solid entry into the world of horror. In general I was surprised at how the religious people nailed creepiness so well and how off putting seeing the horrors of religious cults materialized into movie form can really be. The ending was powerful although doesn't give you too much to work with. In fact it may be a little too ambiguous- but if you can figure out the secret beforehand this shouldn't be a huge problem. I have my theories and you may have yours- but if you think about the history of religious cult leaders and what those cults actually gained by doing what they did, then the outcome probably shouldn't be too surprising to you. In any case, this religious cult wears messengers bags and look all too similar to every one's favorite door to door religion salesman, which is doubly frightening. If you're craving some really decent independent horror, then give this a shot. Keep a look out for clues, and brush up on history involving cults and mass hysteria and don't forget to keep someone nearby in case you have a heart attack or 10.